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Question Advice for group of new divers - seeking convenience

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mountainsean

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Looking at Cozumel for the week after Christmas with a group of mostly new OW divers (two are brand new, two have a few dozen dives, etc.). I've been to Cozumel many times (last time was probably 5 years ago) and always stayed in non-dive hotels/condos (to accommodate my non-diving family) and always dove with Aldora. I always had a good dive experiences with Aldora, but it was a bit of a hassle to figure out the logistics of pickups and dropoffs given where we stayed. For this trip, since we're all divers, I'd like to prioritize the accommodations toward diving convenience. So something like the Aldora Villa (I haven't checked whether they have availability), or similar hotels/condos that have a good dive shop affiliation, will pick up/drop off on site, can cater to new divers, and ideally have a house reef or similar easy access to a shore dive or snorkeling. Any advice is welcome!

Also, are the reefs in reasonable shape at this point? I've seen some conflicting reports but hard to get a consensus.

Thanks!
 

scubadada

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My son and I stayed at Hotel Cozumel on a visit and Aldora picked us up off their pier. I would check to make sure nothing has changed under Wyndham. I believe Aldora makes many pick ups.
 
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rick00001967

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i second the vote for hotel coz. they have a peir for pick up. shallow shore diving that is especially fun at night. and it is still close enough to town to walk in for shopping or a meal.

many on here like scuba club. i have never stayed there but it certainly looks to me like hotel coz is nicer.

you could stay down south and be closer to the reefs but there is no real shore diving down there as far as i know. someone can correct e if i am wrong. but it is far from town. the bonus is that you get nice beaches though.

the park royal is very nice. shore diving across the street with a couple of dive ops right there. but it is too far from town to walk for most people.

also stayed at casa del mar once. right by the park royal so same dive options. it is pretty basic but i was by myself so it was fine. no where near the level of the park royal though.
 

NDL_Diver

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The Villa Aldora is great when diving Aldora. Pickup at the Villa dock and dtop off. Aldora has 6 boats and will have all of you together. Their 120cf tanks are great for beginnerssince they tend to use alot of air. Plus all the guests are divers and you get to meet alot of divers.

Stayed there many, many times.
 

NDL_Diver

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Week after Christmas is New Years. Would book anywhere sooner than later.
 

ggunn

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I recommend Blue Angel. It has an excellent on site dive op and easy access to a decent shore dive. The restaurant there is excellent as well and it has a dock for dive and fishing boats, It's between Melgar and the water, so everything on the grounds is a short walk away, and there is a great sunset view from the pool. It's far enough from town so that the cruise ship crowds won't bother you, but it's close enough for cheap cab rides to the great restaurants in town. The rooms are large and every one of them has a glass wall facing the water. I always stay there.

It's small - only 22 rooms - and it's pretty popular, so make your reservations as early as you can.
 

DandyDon

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I recommend Blue Angel.
Nice hotel, the best shoring diving I think, and a good choice. You can use the onsite dive Op, or have another pick you up there. The reefs are nice. Some damage, but still worth it.

Four new divers? You're going to want to hire two private DMs for the first day to learn Coz diving, currents, etc. You might be able to book a private boat with four for all days and hire one extra DM the first day. It's a busy week tho so you'd better book quickly, and you may not get a private boat for the price of four divers, but ask.
  • Everyone got DAN dive insurance? Just in case, very important.
  • Everyone know how to equalize easily or need some pointers?
 

BrewingDiver

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Another vote for Blue Angel as it does check the boxes. Can walk to town or easily get cheap cabs. Scuba Club is another good option. It is still closer to town but not near the cruise crowd. Boats are slow or were when we were there years ago. Shore diving is good, especially at night, at both of these, and included no extra charge.
 
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